By Jaci Schneider, Opinion Editor
Four new directors have made ACU residence halls their homes this semester.
The Office of Residence Life and Housing filled the four openings in residence halls this year with Jacquetta Etheridge in Gardner Hall, Marie Thomas in Nelson Hall, Bob Booth in McDonald Hall and Steve Sargent in McKinzie Hall. Callie Brown is also new in University Parks Apartments.
“I’m exceptionally pleased with the staff we have,” said Dr. Mimi Barnard, director of Residence Life Education and Housing.
Former residence hall directors simply moved on in life, Barnard said. Two of them lived in the halls for nine years.
“That’s just a really long time to live in a building with college students,” Barnard said.
The new directors will fill many roles over the course of their employment, including administrator, mentor, security officer, host and disciplinarian.
With all the roles they will fill, the job is mainly one of ministry, said Bob Booth, director of McDonald Hall.
“It’s a unique ministry in that it’s very close to the model in which Christ ministered,” Booth said. “Christ ministered by living among the people.”
Booth said college students go through a lot of new experiences and changes in their first year at school, and he wanted to be there for them.
“I’m here to mourn with those who mourn and rejoice with those who rejoice,” Booth said. “We’ve already had some pretty intimate conversations.”
None of the residence hall directors’ duties have changed since last year, but the regulations will be better enforced, Barnard said.
“If it’s on our [contract], then we’re going to be doing these things,” she said. “Things like going to Chapel and really managing the building and not just the people inside it.”
For Booth, the job may be daunting, but he said it will be rewarding. “It can be quite a bit of work; you’re pretty much always on call,” he said. “But I love working for the school.”
Residence directors tend to be recently graduated students with master’s degrees or students working on their master’s, Barnard said.
“The apartments aren’t big enough to hold a growing family,” Barnard said. “Three to five years is a good amount of time to serve.”